More expensive gas drove up US consumer prices last month by the most in three years. However, outside energy, inflation was tame.
The US Department of Labor yesterday said that consumer prices rose a seasonally adjusted 0.6 percent last month, the first increase since March. Higher gas prices accounted for 80 percent of the increase. Food prices rose 0.2 percent.
Excluding the volatile food and energy categories, core prices edged up 0.1 percent for the second straight month. Rents, medical care and new cars got more expensive, while clothing, furniture and airline fares fell in price.
In the past 12 months, prices have increased 1.7 percent. That is down from a peak of 3.9 percent in September last year and below the Fed’s inflation target of 2 percent.
Core consumer prices rose 1.9 percent in the past 12 months, the smallest annual increase in a year.
Separately, eurozone inflation rose again last month to 2.6 percent, the EU statistics agency said yesterday.
After holding steady at an annualized 2.4 percent over the three previous months, the figures from the Eurostat agency marked the 20th consecutive month that inflation came in above the European Central Bank’s medium-term inflation target of just below, but close to 2 percent.
Across the 27-nation EU, annual inflation was 2.7 percent last month, up from 2.5 percent in July.